Muscular dystrophy campaigner hoping for more festive funding joy
PUBLISHED: 08:15 20 December 2010
A MUSCULAR dystrophy campaigner is celebrating winning more than £3,000 in grant money towards research for the disease, but is hoping for more funding joy over the festive period.
Steve Ledbrook, 37, has Becker muscular dystrophy, one of nine forms of the disease which affects around 6,000 people in the South West, and wastes muscle tissue and can lead to difficulties in movement.
Although Mr Ledbrook and fellow campaigner Alan Dyer won the grant of £3,234 from the Somerset Community Foundation, which will go towards vital treatments for the disease, he is still looking for more help to provide top care for the 200 households affected in North Somerset.
Mr Ledbrook, of Severn Road, Weston, said: “The disease can leave you feeling weak, and unable to do thing. We have been urging the NHS to do more hydrotherapy, which is one method of treating the disease.
“The night after you’ve had hydrotherapy is the best night’s sleep you’ll have that week, you feel the strongest that you will all week.”
The money raised in the recent appeal will allow Mr Ledbrook and other sufferers to have subsidised use of the Brainwave Centre’s hydrotherapy pool in Bridgwater.
Mr Ledbrook, whose younger brother James also suffers from Becker, added: “It’s great that we’ve been given the grant, as the pool is the only accessible hydrotherapy pool in the area and it’ll make a lot of difference to the people that need to use the facility.
“We’ve recently had the double your money campaign, and earlier this year I spent 30 hours on Weston’s big wheel to raise money.”
Despite recent successes, Mr Ledbrook is determined to increase awareness of the disease and to push the NHS into putting more money into research.
“At the moment we’re having a tough time talking to the NHS about hydrotherapy treatment. Every donation towards the campaign is important, it can make a lot of difference.”
Claire Methven, of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said: “He is an inspirational campaigner that has made a huge contribution to improving the quality of life for people across the South West with muscle disease.
“He has fought for better healthcare for people with muscular dystrophy and has travelled to Westminster to push NHS leaders in the South West to provide specialist support for patients and families.
For more information on how to donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, visit www.muscular-dystrophy.org